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Yes, you should cook chicken leg quarters! Here's why - and how.

written by

Michelle Sroka

posted on

April 24, 2024

Here on the farm, we don't just raise animals - we also cook a lot of meat. And in the years we've been doing this, some favorites have emerged.

But our favorites might surprise you. For example, let's talk about chicken. Would you be surprised if I told you that our favorite chicken cut is not boneless, skinless chicken breasts? (And no, it's not tenders, either.)

Those two cuts are definitely our bestsellers. And I can understand why - they're versatile, delicious, and there are an abundance of recipes available for them.

But our favorite cut here on the farm is actually chicken leg quarters. And if you were to ask me for cooking advice, I'd recommend that you become a fan of leg quarters, too.

Why leg quarters?

Why do we love them so much? Leg quarters are easy to cook.

They're much more forgiving than chicken breasts, which can dry out easily. Overcook the quarters a bit? No problem - they'll still be juicy and tender.

They're also so flavorful, thanks to the skin. In fact, I'm not sure I could eat chicken if there wasn't fatty, well-seasoned skin to consume with it.

And using a bone-in cut also results in better nutrition and texture, especially if you're using the slow cooker or braising the meat. The collagen and nutrients from the bone are good for you - and will result in a heartier, thicker sauce.

But I know that leg quarters may seem intimidating or confusing, so let's talk about how to use them.

How do I cook leg quarters?

First, leg quarters can (and should) be substituted for any recipe calling for boneless thighs. In fact, I'd wager the bone will make the recipe better.

Next, you can leave the leg quarter as is - with the drumstick and thigh connected. Or, you can simply cut the two apart. You just need a good butcher knife.

To do this, flip the leg quarter over and find the gap between the thigh and leg bones, right where the drumstick and thigh connect. Then, cut right through that joint, and they'll come apart easily. (Here's a quick Youtube tutorial if you need a visual.)

And finally, how should you cook them?

That's probably the easiest part. We usually season them, toss them on a sheet pan, and cook at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

But we also love to use them in the slow cooker or a braising recipe. My absolute favorite recipe is a take on coq au vin using chicken leg quarters.

It's easy to make a big batch, too. In fact, I usually cook three or four packs of leg quarters at a time. I only have to cook once, but we'll have enough meat to last several days.

I hope that you branch out -- and make chicken leg quarters a part of your regular recipe rotation, too! Click here to shop our 100% pasture-raised chicken leg quarters.

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